Monday, November 19, 2007

Ron Paul's Moneymaker

Ron Paul gathered $4.3 million in contributions during the fourth quarter today, doubling the haul the campaign brought in during its now famous November 5th Moneybomb.

This is, frankly, amazing. And there's another Moneybomb scheduled for December 16th (the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party) that will receive a huge amount of media attention during the run-up. It's entirely conceivable that the next contribution day could bring in $5-6+ million, though no one can really be sure what's going to happen since these have never been done before.

When I have spoken of Ron Paul in the past I've either spoken of him in national or local terms -- I haven't really thought much about what role, if any, Paul can play in Wisconsin. To a large extent this is not an important question because there's a good chance the GOP nomination will be settled before Wisco Republicans have a chance to cast their ballots in the February 19th primary, but that doesn't mean Paul's candidacy can't say something about Wisconsin.

There's an otherwise unimpressive article on Paul in this week's Isthmus that tangentially reminded me of something I had forgotten entirely: when Ed Thompson ran for governor 5 years ago he received 11% of the vote as a candidate with the Libertarian Party. That's 185,085 votes statewide (he received 3689 votes, or about 8%, in Winnebago Co. alone).

Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at, but they do require a little more context. Thompson was essentially trading off his brother's name recognition. There was an extremely unpopular incumbent in office. The legislative caucus scandal had been simmering in the media for over a year before the election. All of these things certainly contributed to a surge in Ed Heads at the time, not to mention the 52,161 votes for other third party candidates.

In Oshkosh there have been more giant homemade Ron Paul signs springing up of late (corner of Murdock and Elmwood, and I think I saw one on Parkway just a few blocks from the Boys and Girls club). Yard signs are a lousy way of gaging support (to say nothing of getting a message out), but I can't help think there might be a strong undercurrent of libertarianism that is just waiting to bubble up to the surface. I don't want to start making any predictions, but I can't wait to see how much of the vote he picks up here in Wisconsin.


Vote For Hillary Online said...

Ron Paul is a nice guy and all, but if you want a real candidate with real values, then you want Hillary Clinton. We need some change in America and we need it now.

I like to think of America as a suffering patient, where Hillary is an experienced doctor. What we need here is some good medicine.

Babblemur said...

Funny comment above! Given that Ron Paul IS a doctor and Hillary Clinton is not.

I think "Vote for hillary online" needs a better analogy.